After living in Italy as an au pair and traveling Europe out of my backpack, I've come to learn many ways to save money.
Traveling Europe is incredibly affordable and the public transportation is unlike anywhere else in the world.
Below are 15 ways to save money that you must use on your next trip!
1. STA Travel Card
Do you travel often?
Are you a student? A teacher?
If so, you’re missing out on some serious savings.
Back when I started traveling, I bought an STA Travel Card that paid for itself when I showed it to the travel agency for my Machu Picchu trip.
The travel card is very affordable and can be used in over 133 countries at over 125,000 locations.
It's a must for frequent travelers!
2. Offer services online
Are you looking for an online job?
- Become an online English Teacher at VIPKID and make up to $25 per hour from home. You can learn more details and apply here.
- Do you offer freelancing services like web design, editing, marketing, or other services? Create a profile on Fiverr where thousands of people come to hire people to do work for them. I’ve hired logo designers and more all from Fiverr and definitely recommend it!
- You can even make money by filling out surveys on Springboard America with your honest opinion. It's that easy.
Interested in other real work from home careers? Check out this great list.
3. Get cash back with Ibotta
Ibotta is a free app that gives you cash back for making purchases on things like groceries, clothes, toiletries, and much more while traveling.
I use the app on a regular basis. Before I visit a grocery store or make any kind of purchase in-person, I check the Ibotta app to see what kind of cash back I can get.
Currently, there are deals like getting up to $2 off toothpaste, up to 20% cash back from Groupon, $1.50 off pasta, and so much more.
It's silly not to use Ibotta if you're a regular grocery shopper and also have to buy things like clothes, toiletries, and pretty much anything else you'd find at a store like Walmart or Amazon.
If you sign up now, you can get $10 in your account by using my link here.
Trim Trim users saved over $1,000,000 last month alone.
With Trim you can:
- Negotiate your cable, internet and/or phone bill with ANY provider, lowering your bill by up to 30%.
- Analyze your transactions so you can quickly and easily understand where your money goes.
- Recognize recurring charges to make sure you don’t have any forgotten or unwanted subscriptions.
- Provide personalized recommendations for the right financial accounts for you.
Couchsurfing is a great way to gain an authentic experience with people from all around the world.
Even better, you save money when you're couchsurfing because you don't have to spend any money on accomodations.
Couchsurfing is exactly what it sounds like – you stay with locals of the city you're visiting and crash on their couch. If you're lucky, you may get a guest bedroom.
I've couchsurfed once and my mom has several times.
Just some quick tips to follow: 1) Stay with hosts that are verified and have at least 10 positive references 2) Always tell your friends or family the exact address or where you are staying before you get there 3) If you ever feel uncomfortable, leave. Don't think about it, just leave.
Save money when traveling by using Airbnb, my favorite way to travel!
With Airbnb, you can choose from a full house, a room, or a shared space.
I prefer Airbnb’s over hotels because you can get a full kitchen and more (sometimes even your own pool and yard!).
I've used Airbnb over 10 times throughout Europe, Asia, Mexico and the United States.
It's so affordable and I love the unique experience I get traveling this way.
7. Use a credit card with zero foreign transaction fees
There's no reason why any credit card should be charging you foreign transaction fees.
If they are, it's time to find a new credit card!
If you're not sure if your credit card charges transaction fees, all you have to do is call your bank and ask them.
Are you overwhelmed by finances?
Are you sick of managing 6 six money apps?
Cinch takes care of everything all in one place.
Cinch monitors your credit score, if you have missed payments or unauthorized use, to how much insurance you need, and a lot more.
This app does all of the hard work for you and creates step by step actions for you to save thousands. It's pretty awesome!
9. Sign up for Ebates to get travel discounts
Ebates gives cash back on online purchases, such as flights and other travel-related expenses.
If you regularly shop online, Ebates is a must for you. You make money while doing your usual online shopping, it's that simple.
Ebates is a website that gives you cash back for your purchases, giving up to 40% cash back.
All you have to do is log on to Ebates, find out which store you want to shop at, and you’ll start getting cash back.
10. Avoid airport currency exchange
Never exchange currencies at the airport. The currencies are tremendously marked up and you'll waste a lot of time.
Banks and credit unions generally have the best currency exchange rates.
I made the mistake of doing this and could not believe the exchange rate. It's terrible!
Tip: Are you spending too much money on your cell phone every month? Mint Mobile has 3-month plans at $20 per month with 5GB of 4G LTE data per month, along with unlimited talk, text, and data, along with free calls to Canada and Mexico. You can even use your current unlocked phone and simply switch SIM cards.
11. Read the fine writing
Wherever you go, make sure you're always reading the fine print.
For example, RyanAir (budget airlinEuropeEuroe) has a ton of hidden charges.
You must check-in online before going to the airport, you have to print out your boarding pass, and you can pay a ton of excess luggage. RyanAir has some of the lowest allowed luggage (15kg) so make sure to weigh your luggage ahead of time.
Before you buy a plane ticket, always make sure to find out if there are any extra charges on anything.
Tip: Cushion is a new finance app that is unlike any other app on the market. Cushion is an app that refunds bank and credit card fees. You can expect refunds on things like late fees, overdraft fees, monthly service fees, account maintenance fees, ATM fees, credit card interest charges, late fees, and more!
12. Use overnight buses
Overnight buses are a great way to save money on accomodations and get to your destination faster.
FlixBus has tons of overnight buses going all over Europe. The seats are pretty comfy, too!
13. Read travel articles
There are so many ways to save on travel to make it more affordable and not just a once a year thing.
Below are a few articles to get you to start saving on traveling:
- How To Travel The World On A Tight Budget
- How To Save On Flights
- How I Got A Free Round Trip To Hawaii
- Pros and Cons of Airbnb
Blablacar is a long distance carpool service (sort of similar to Uber) that can take you to one country to another, or from one city within a country to another city.
The costs range depending on how far you're going.
You'll share a car with others (or be alone with the driver).
I used this service several times when I was an au pair in Europe and even got a ticket for under $10 to go from France to Italy.
15. Use Groupon
Groupon has thousands of savings related to travel.
With Groupon you can save money on:
- Travel items
Use this 12-week travel savings planto save money for your next trip!
- Check out my Free Resource Library to get tons of free printables
- Join my Facebook Community where we share tips related to fitness, health, and more
- Check out my top recommendations for health, finance, and blogging
Related articles to read:
- 16 Real Work From Home Jobs That Pay Up To $75,000 A Year
- 7 Books To Become A Better and Happier You
- Healthiest Foods For A Tight Budget
What tips do you have to save while backpacking in Europe?
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